Few new technologies have roiled manufacturing (and most other industries) as much and as completely as the Internet of Things, since, well, the Internet itself. From its inauspicious beginnings,the promise of IoT has captured the imagination of business thought leaders and technologists in every industry. (The term “Internet of Things” was first used in 1999 to link the nascent RFID technology to the internet.)
But the time for imagining and speculation has past, as first-adopter executives begin to share the results of their IoT initiatives and describe what IoT can do—and has done—for the competitiveness of their businesses.
Consider the experience of Navistar International Corp. (IW500/102), manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defense vehicles and engines. The company, which traces its history to 1831 when Cyrus McCormick invented the reaping machine, has transformed its business by leveraging IoT data. At the upcoming IoT Emerge conference, Andrew Minteer, Navistar’s director of IoT Analytics and Machine Learning, will describe how the company improved product design and preventative maintenance strategies using big data and analytics. Among other things, he’ll also describe how the company developed a data analytics team and created analytics methods to extract value from Big Data. As well, he’ll share his companies list of the key elements necessary to succeed with machine learning/advanced analytics.
Navistar is just one of a full line-up of manufacturers that also will present their IoT stories at IoT Emerge. The event is among the first to focus on the business case studies of real companies, with real ioT stories, rather than the IoT’s abstract possibilities. It dedicates a track of 9 sessions targeted to manufacturers looking for Industrial IoT solutions and best practices.
Among those joining Navistar is machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. (IW500/24).Terri Lewis, the company’s Digital & Technology Director, Energy & Transportation, will share five key trends and lessons Caterpillar has learned through its journey in the IoT: Commercialization, data management, organization and culture, new technologies, & the killer app. She'll also describe how leveraging IoT is as much about people as technology.
Robert Bierwagen, VP and CIO of MPI Corporation, an industrial equipment manufacturer, will describe how the company moved from an outdated text-driven system and brought three facilities live on a cloud-MES solution, automating every aspect of operations. He’ll also describe his company's best practices for selecting and deploying next-generation technology, how to work with a technology provider and how to prepare the shop floor for the transition.
Bob Rossoll, MES project manager, Rockwell Automation Inc. (IW500/156), a global systems manufacturer and integrator, will describe the “people, process and technology” strategies the company used in their journey to implement the “Connected Enterprise.” He'll also share how the Connected Enterprise creates value, along with how to use data to communicate actionable information.
IoT Emerge will be at McCormick Place in Chicago, November 2-4, 2016. Altogether the event offers 35+ IoT expert speakers, over 30 sessions, 4 keynote addresses, 3 co-located partner events, 2 days of sessions and 1 day of tours and an extensive IoT expo.
This article first appeared on IndustryWeek, a companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.